Vermont is Very Much Open

Alicia Dana

A Native Vermonter

Who Loves the Outdoors

Alicia Dana is a native Vermonter who lives in Putney with her 11 year-old daughter, Willa.  Alicia has always been a physically active person who enjoys the outdoors. From a young age, she was a Nordic and downhill skier and competed in both of those sports. When she was 14, she fell in love with bike racing.

However, when Alicia was 17, she experienced a life-changing event that would forever change the way she recreates. She was climbing a tree, but then fell 40 feet and broke her back, which left her paralyzed from the waist down.  

“To go from being a nationally ranked junior in bike racing to being paralyzed was an adjustment to say the least,” she recalled.  

Today, the 2014 Road World Champion is training for her next competition. She rides her handcycle around Putney and often travels to different places to compete.  

“I’m trying to raise money to get an off-road handcycle and when I do, I’d love to get on it and go back in the woods,” said Alicia, who looks forward to exploring where the forest can take her. A recent grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation has helped bring her closer to her goal.

For someone who loves the outdoors as much as Alicia does, accessibility to the beautiful places Vermont has to offer is extremely important — a view, she believes, many Vermonters wholeheartedly share. “There is generally respect and courtesy for cyclists on the roads, at least around my area” she said. 

Alicia considers Vermont “a beautiful state with a lot of good-hearted, progressive people that genuinely want to help and, despite frequent financial hurdles, continue to try to do the right thing by expanding accessibility.”